I W Diary 1974-76

DIARY NOTES – IRISH WOLFHOUNDS 1974- 76

Amazing how much I thought I knew, considering my first litter had only arrived in 1973 and i had only owned the breed since 1970. Despite this, I would stand by my honestly held opinions from my early twenties.

I would hardly call a day marking catalogues marvellous nowadays !

As my early obsession was breeding a dog good enough to get past the ones owned by those great breeders at Sanctuary, Sulhamstead and Eaglescrag – with Brabyns, Royden and others not far behind – I was extremely focussed on breeding to the best dogs and learning about their pedigrees and what they and other dogs produced. My first litter had been completely healthy and had grown up with no problems – except that two of the puppies had entropion, Bronica’s followed a bout of “ blue eye”, a not uncommon reaction to the distemper vaccination of the era. As time went on I learned that this wasn’t too much of a problem in the breed, but of course our own Bronica was never bred from because of this. Her unaffected sister and descendants never produced entropion. In those days you did not have to report problems needing an operation to the Kennel Club, or if it was it was so little known that nobody ever did.

Interesting to see how often we went back to a local person’s house for tea after a dog show, or stayed with someone, and always to talk dogs. I was just as amused to see that, failing this option, exhibitors would go to the bar and carry on talking. Nowadays most leap into their car and are away long before the group is judged.

( parenthesis) where it was a contemporary comment, or to insert a full name or kennel name

<  insert > where I have made a comment based on later knowledge or to expand on something said earlier.

April 1974 , Club show, Stoneleigh 

Arrived early and a marvellous day started early, in the car park. Chatted to Mrs Nelson (Gledstone) and was roped in to mark catalogues. The show was slow to start with many people arriving late. Mary ( McBryde, Marumac) was one of them. She had a disappointing day, for she had entered Meda ( M. Andromeda) in puppy dog which made her ineligible for her other classes. Sandy < M. Alexander, litter brother, both by Sulhamstead Woodside Finn’s  first Marumac litter > is at a raw stage but does not seem to have maintained his puppy promise. Rather coarse head, good bite, light eyes. Long straight back, front and stifles not good, high loopy tail. Movement poor, needs reach and drive. Meda is very similar but is slightly better built throughout with slightly better movement and dark eyes. At the moment neither look as good as Annagh ( Sanctuary Monagh of Marumac). A third puppy, Mrs Theobald’s, looked very tall and elegant and possibly too finished for her age. < Marumac Atalanta of Haeramai, later consistent winner including res CC >

There was a beautiful dog pup (Sulhamstead) Master brought out by Mrs Nagle, very promising. Many of the young dogs were pets, including one horror with the waviest topline i have ever seen, and lots of poor movement. Caio’s ( Ch Caio of Eaglescrag) progeny were generally nice. Lots of new bitches entered but few shown. A sister of Tessa’s ( Buckhurst Theresa, our own first wolfhound)  from an earlier litter was shown, Mrs Smith’s Rosalind, quite like her but resembling her dam more. We saw Brand ( Mochras Brand, from our first litter by Ch Caio) very like Tessa but darker eyes. Much the same habits, we were told, nocturnal howling and picky over food.

The AGM at the end was a waste of time, most people left at the end of the judging. We stayed on to keep Mary company, her parents were away buying something. Took the puppies for a walk and Mr Crane ( Gordon Crane, Seplecur) told us Maggie ( Rathmolyon Maggie McClusky) had a litter of fourteen, not all lived.

Phone call from Mary at the weekend. Annagh in season 2 1/2 months early, she wanted to know if Caio was a reliable stud as Annagh had been difficult last time with Woodside Finn. Heard all about the WELKs show. < and you didn’t write it down?  >

May, Bath Ch. show. 

Arrived at 12.45, late start to the judging. Mary had brought Meda and Annagh was left in the car. The first class ( enormous, so much so that it was split into two halves) was disappointing. Shocking movement,  quality lacking in most. Young Toby ( later Ch Toby of Eaglescrag) was an exception, very like his sire. Royden Topaze ( later Ch) moved beautifully but lacked head type and substance. There were several from the puppy farmers. Mrs Jenkins had a super day, dog cc, res cc, bitch cc and two firsts with Tansy. We looked at the teeth of the younger dogs. Toby perfect, Kelt ( later Ch ) slightly over, Tansy just meeting. They are all very lovely. Freezing cold day, ended sadly for Mary as Caio too tired to mate her bitch and then they missed the ferry home ( The McBrydes lived on the Isle of Wight at the time).

Went over to Mrs Jenkins to let her see Rosie and Bron ( later Ch Mochras Banrion, and M. Bronica) Arrived at 4pm and took the puppies down to the dog fields to gallop. Within a few moments Mrs Jenkins said she would pick Rosie if she was chosing. She then went over them carefully and said they both had good fronts and both needed more development behind, Bron particularly. She thought they were both tall for their age and admired their tails. Said the curly high set tails inherited from the USA imports were getting too widespread. Mrs Nagle had found them on practically all the hounds when she judged in the US recently.

We then went over to see the hounds, which were looking fit and happy. Wully ( Ch Red Wully of E) is house dog since the death of his mother. He is a really lovely hound, super temperament. We had tea outside, talking about genetics, pedigrees etc. We then took the pups for a walk with Wully, down to the stream and back. The Jenkins were amazed how biddable they were, and i felt proud of all my hard work!

29th June 1974 Patrick took Bronica to the vets, she has a smelly anal gland with an abscess which might need an operation to clear it.

 17th July. Rang a Mrs Schoop regarding wolfhound ad in our local paper. Apparently the hound ( K. Kelly to Buckhurst Vanda) has been allowed to roam and chase sheep. They have decided to give him a second chance, and promised to ring if they wished to part with him in future. This was the family who had phoned when we were hoping for a litter by Red Wully < Buckhurst Theresa’s first mate, she missed> we didn’t think then they were a good hound home.

20th July Kath ( Mitchell, Kavanagh Rock ) phoned. They have had some small local sucess with Vally and Shamrock and are hoping to mate Marilyn to Woodside Finn if Mrs Nagle allows, which I doubt, and hope to get good hindquarters. < Tony and Kath Mitchell were such good people. They bred a litter from a bitch acquired on condition they returned two or three puppies to her previous owner, and when Lu Lam Fada of Brabyns had nine or so they kept the rest of the litter, selling none. Marilyn was featured in a book on the breed by Catherine Sutton and won a CC > Kath had news of lots of litters due to be born. Mrs Taylor has bought two pups from Ireland < this would be the Taylors who owned Kilcullen Druid >

Hound Association ( July). Mary had written to say she couldn’t go, so we appropriated her benches and found John and Marion Kite next door. They have a hugely hairy wolfhound ( a woolly). Very cold morning, judging was delayed until a volunteer steward turned up. Mr Hyett ( Buckhurst) took ages over judging. I’m glad for the spectators sake that the entry wasn’t bigger. Lots of absentees, much of the movement was terrible. Toby and Tansie looked super, I wasn’t so impressed by Kelt < later Ch Kelt and a much admired top winner, what did i know ! > . Caio’s children made a good showing. Chatted with Mrs Shaw ( Frankie, Franshaw) who seems to be acquiring a lot of hounds and breeding from all of them.

Took the puppies over to see Frank Edge where they were gone over and moved around. It was nice to get an opinion on them. Frank thinks Rosie should do well for us. Chatted about shoulders and front movement, which helped me very much. < Frank Edge was a lovely guy, owned the Patakay affix, had bred and exhibited Boxers from the mid 50s and had some of the earlier American Cockers being shown, using Yvonne Knapper’s initial imports. I learned much from him, not least the name of the Crufts BIS winner weeks before the event on two separate occasions).

29th August 1974 Limerick. Arrived late, the show packed and ground totally waterlogged, we left as quickly as possible. The judging was over, no hounds worth seeing. Met Miss Belle Walton Tolkavalley) on the car park. Hard to get a word in edgeways and learned nothing of interest.

31st August. Tralee. Lovely day and super show, so small and very friendly. Jayne Wilson Stringer of the plastic hip was judging, many of the Irish handlers didn’t know what to do with their dogs in the ring. The hounds i saw were absolutely shocking, to list their faults would be to fill a book. To be fair the main Irish kennels were not represented. Mrs Taylor from Durham won BOB with an Irish bred hound, Carrokeel Finn Weaver Point. I was surprised at Miss Walton, who at Limerick had extolled the movement of her bitch “ Bri”. It was very poor, shallow brisket leading to wide front and uncontrolled action.

1st September Carrokeel and the highlight of our Irish holiday. Miss Murphy is the nicest of persons, her hounds surpassed everything we had seen at Tralee. Two youngsters were wary at first ( Ballykelly Mariagh and an 8 month puppy Justice x Cara). Justice ( Ch Boroughbury Justice) was aloof, both he and his sister ( Ch Jolly) have curled tails and Jolly has a level bite. They and Grainne are the shapeliest, Maeve and ( Ch) Cara have lost their figures following litters, Mariagh stands too high behind. The puppy was very small considering her parentage ( Ch Cara a particularly tall bitch) but Betty sent her to a friend while she was recovering from her father’s death, so perhaps something wrong in her rearing? Hercules ( Justice x Cailin Bawn) huge, poor movement but not a bad shape. We saw the month old puppies from Justice to Maeve, our first Glen of Imaal terrier, and a whole room of Wolfhound records and pictures. Our conversation ranged from “blue” ( dilute) puppies to the books Betty is compiling, dogs and people. The Sulhamstead Mole scandal – all fascinating. We had tea with Betty and her brother’s family and left for the city laden with information and items about hounds – a super afternoon.

< If I had had any sense I would have bought from this litter, Justice a superb sire. The “Mole “ scandal : Mrs Nagle had sent the dog to Ireland, and Betty’s father rejected it practically on arrival because of various faults with the hound. I seem to remember this included an undershot bite and an over wide front. He was a stock man and clearly didn’t want his daughter to be wasting her money. Mrs Nagle and her friends were so outraged at this rejection that they never forgave – and indeed, some of the connections put it around that anything Irish bred  of red brindle colour and good construction was sired by Mole illicitly during his few days prior to his return, something which could not and did not happen. This hound was exported to Germany thereafter. >

Darlington show 9th September 1974 

Freezing cold, we eventually reached the ring in the afternoon. Motto ( later Ch, Sulhamstead) was not as impressive as i had expected but he is massive for a youngster, rather like Major < I adored Major >. Mogul ( later Ch Ederyn Mogul) is lighter built, superb forehand, needs better brisket and quarters and is rather throaty. Hamish ( later Ch, Outhwaite) and Toby looked super.

Miss Hudson ( Brabyns) judged extremely well. I was thrilled to win a third with Rosie in junior and some nice comments from others. I suddenly realised how light she was, hope she gains some substance with age. Bron was out with the rubbish as her movement is so poor. Kath ( Mitchell) was on crutches so we helped her with Shamrock and Valley, later adjourning to the Evans residence for tea and a post mortem. Much amusement at the Hollis’ antics.

< Royden – what had they been doing?  I suspect it was Mrs Hollis walking around while her husband was in the ring with Topaze, wafting a large container covered in foil and trying to get their exhibit’s attention. Ringside attraction is banned, but they were from GSDs after all ,where it was rife. Wolfhound people were not used to being mowed down by a determined lady darting around,  waving a cooking pot while trying to stay in the sight line of a hound in the ring >.

LKA November. Went dogless, both young hounds in season. Very big entry, as usual at the London shows < this would have been in its Olympia or Earls Court days >. Very impressed by Miss Thomas’ bitch by Caio, very big and with substance, carried tail high tho. < Steph Herbert-Thomas had bred two lovely big bitches in Augusta and her sister Atlanta >

Mary had brought both Annagh and Meda, but Meda is still nothing like mature – Mary wants a litter from her next year, it might help her shape. Upright shoulders, stifles not curved enough, high set tail. she moves nicely now, better than the majority in fact. Mary and I swopped material, she has a file on all the best hounds complete with show critiques, pictures and pedigrees, its very good.

< we were both building up information on pedigrees and the background of hounds we had not seen, and sharing our findings >.

Talked to Mr Hyett <Buckhurst> and John Briggs, then went to ringside. Lots to think about, movement wasn’t too good, Motto about the best in the lower classes. In later classes Fintan ( Ch, Eaglescrag) looked very well and moved better than any dog there but was put to the end of the line. Firenza ( Baldeagle) won CC and BOB – he was moving very wide behind. I suppose after all the close moving ones the judge felt impelled to go for the opposite. She was terribly slow.

The bitch classes were much stronger, but by this time I was weary of watching. We bought some old wolfhound postcards and a lovely print by Wardle. We were forced to leave at the beginning of open bitch as we were due in Reigate.

Among interesting topics discussed – Hilary Jupp has had a whole litter ( Sulhamstead Branwen Myles to ( Oakenshield A) Glaia which cannot manufacture antibodies to infections. The IW Mag has arrived. Mrs Pringle wants a copy of a picture of Fantasia, which I cannot find. Mary is asking for a pick of litter bitch from Miss Hudson. Open bitch line up looked very good, I was impressed by ( Royden) Topaze’s dam, she is better than her daughter and i think deserved to win the open class.

Mary rang a few days later. She is going down to see Miss Hudsons litters and has full details of all the cup and cc winners. Next day i sent her a packet of pictures and pedigrees. Later, letter from Mary. She has bought a daughter of Ch Petasmeade Chieftain of Brabyns. < I still have this letter. Mary had choice of around 36  puppies from five litters ranging in age from two weeks to five months >.

Richmond, with Rosie. Mary had bred Annagh the day before, to Caio. Mrs Jenkins has kept four puppies from the Rossan and Clodagh litters ( Thornwick R. of Eaglescrag and Ch Clodagh of E). Mary liked Kestrel, thought he would be better than Toby. My interest in an Eaglescrag bitch of my own hardened into determination. Had a brief word with Mrs Jenkins, she is repeating the mating which produced Toby and Tansy. Told her I would ring later.

The judging was rather erratic. Mrs de Casembroot put up all the strongest, heaviest dog and “ weedies” were left out, notably Mogul who deserved better, I thought. In bitches, the head of the lines seemed to be the finest built, taking “ a doggy dog and a bitchy bitch” to extremes. Rosie was thrown out, the class was won by a Chieftain daughter out of Tessa’s sister. Seemed nicely conformed but so small and fine in head. Mr Hyett’s ( Buckhurst) Electra won novice, later Clodagh ( Ch, Eaglescrag) came out to win limit and CC. A litter has made all the necessary improvements, notably to spring of rib which she lacked before.

Mr Hyett agreed to look over Rosie, he thought she was a nice bitch. Was very truthful about her faults but thought most would be overcome with age. Even, perhaps, her close hind action. His Ch Fintan x Ch Ophelia litter has four undershot puppies, very disappointing, he cant think where it came from, none of the immediate pedigree have this fault. He also has a nice litter from Bran ( of Blakesley of Buckhurst) out of O’Malley.

1975, January. Mary thinks Annagh is having a phantom, has had a discharge but is still showing pregnancy signs. Coleraine ( Brabyns) is fulfilling all of Mary’s hopes but Meda has yet to come into season. Talked for ages about coat colour, Sulhamstead infertility etc.

25th January Went to the AHT show at Stafford to watch and met Mrs Humphreys, who owns Eaglescrag Fernie ( Ystwyth). I had been looking forward to seeing this bitch. Same colour, head type and general “look” of Rosie, Fernie has better bone, substance, yet Rosie moves better in front ( F. knuckles over) and has the better tailset and hindquarters. Both a little throaty and also large ears. Her owner was telling me that she has a dog puppy ( Fintan to a Rannochlea  Ch Caio daughter) and was given Penclaire Nuala by Mrs John who has given up wolfhounds. Mrs Shaw owns another from the same source ( Kate) who has had a litter, 3 wheatens retained, by ( Franshaw) Brannigan. Allegro has missed to Toby. Cadenza ( Dalham’s Marcus – Asoka Banshee) may go to Hamish.

Cadged a lift to Crufts with Mrs Shaw, very kind of her. She knows lots of things about ignorance and double dealing. Told me of a woman who had been sold a puppy from Ireland for £40 “ because you might not rear it” which died at eight months. Re Mrs Pyke ( Elpyk), who does not believe in exercising her hounds ( says Frankie, might the fact she keeps them in her back garden have something to do with it?). ( Baldeagle) Firenza – Mrs Dunlop ( Delorne) took a bitch to him and was rather shocked as he was terribly nervous ( luckily her bitch missed). Franshaw Allegro’s sister had a litter to him, the bitch retained was house reared and had a steady sort of mother but at nine months this puppy was petrified with fright meeting people. This sort of blind panic is dangerous, especially if Firenza is passing the trait on. Mrs Blackmore ( Melanter) has bought a bitch puppy from Sanctuary for £150, unfortunately it broke a shoulder at five months. She saw Sir Harry < a gorgeous Sanctuary dog puppy whose photograph had appeared in the Xmas annuals, Mary and I were looking forward to seeing how he grew up >  and he isn’t being shown because of an accident to his hindquarters.

Finally, Kilcullen Druid has killed some of his owners Dachshunds and has taken to lunging out at other people and dogs. If this is a sample of Frankie’s gossip roll on the next show season – wonder how much is exaggerated, it certainly loses nothing in the telling.

Crufts was fabulous. Frankie’s opinion of Susan Hudson is the same as mine, she also thinks that the Brabyns hounds have been shown with skin complaints – remembers seeing ( Brabyns) Tullamore with a red raw tummy. Another hound from the Connal x Culleen litter nervous ( Tipperary, Miss Nichols < Bradfield affix>).

Bought Cathy Sutton’s book, went to an old book stall and perused expensive old encyclopaedias ( one had a black and tan pictured, another had the original of our Wardle print). Saw John Briggs, Tony ( Mitchell) and Carrokeel Lucan’s owner, discussed mange. Translated for a French couple – later directed them to Mrs Jenkins, who was the most likely person to have big, grey puppies ( Caio mated to Rossan the previous week). From Mrs Nelson, ( Gledstone) Galaxy mated to Mogul. Radaire sold as a pet. Saw Mrs McBryde, Annagh had seven puppies ( was eight but the runt died). Letter later from Mary giving full details and pictures of Coleraine.

Had a ringside seat for once, nothing much to complain about from the judging with the glaring exception of ( Kilcullen ) Druid winning limit. Aelius Elfreda was BOB, bitch CC over Clodagh ( Eaglescrag) did not seem fair. Made full notes in my catalogue.

On the way back Mrs Shaw let me into a disturbing secret. Her ( Franshaw) Brannigan has osteochondritis dissecans and has to be operated on. < His sire> Caio also has this and his daughter from Helen Baird’s Eiley ( Ch Uladh) developed it too. May be hereditary, at least some of the biggest hounds seem to have succumbed which might be to do with rapid growth weakening the bone structure. Wish I knew for sure, Frankie desperately worried as she wants to continue breeding from and showing Brannigan. HIs operation is at Liverpool university. Arrived home at midnight absolutely exhausted. Crufts feet, head and voice, never again ( until next year).

<I had a trouble free litter of six tall puppies by Ch Caio of Eaglescrag and only came across O.C.D later on…… Ruth Jenkins at this time was open about lameness in her big hounds when they were growing up, describing it as akin to growing pains. Later as more and more cases were attributed to her family line she would not talk about it. >

Manchester show with my father. Watched the earliest dog classes, there were some shockers. Mogul looking well. In open dog I mistook Toby for Caio, they are so similar now, however Caio has the better hindquarters. Oberon ( later Ch Petasmeade Oberon) won the CC – I was amazed. He was coatless and was still roaching his topline. The Innis’ Irish bred bitch won yearling – roach topline again, nice head and bone. Mr Hyett told me he was judging Leeds and hoped Rosie would be there. Shamus ( Buckhurst Young) has had a mating which he hopes will prove him, Errant has failed in front and will be sold. There is a dog in the latest Ophelia litter which will be run on.

There were two teensy bitches by ( Sulhamstead Branwen) Myles, both a little apprehensive and with those Sulhamstead heads. Reasonable shapes, not much quality. Arched necks and dark eyes, yet no scope in movement. Mrs Innes ( Petasmeade) had a field day, everyone else congratulated her and she was interviewed on TV.

Puppies seem to be selling slowly in the North. June Moody still has two bitches aged 8 months for sale and now has 12 hounds. Frankie has some, Mrs Pringle has repeated the Firenza/ Fantasia mating. A yearling bitch from this combination was shown.  Fiana’s (Ch Baldeagle Fiana of Eaglescrag) shape, Firenza’s head and Fantasia’s size, its horrible! Went to the bar with a group and heard about Mr Taylor’s rescued Irish bitch, which  is really rather nice < Ann of Ballytobin, how lucky was that? Stunning type and quality>, and her 2 lb puppy by Druidh. Wonder how many of these youngsters will reach the ring?

John Briggs told me the truth about the Dublin show, where it was ( Petasmeade ) Celt who had the dachshund and really did savage it. < In the UK we had all heard that it was Ch Petasmeade Chieftain of Brabyns which had picked up a daxie in a firm attempt to kill it , to this day I don’t know which of the brothers did the deed, but there were strong attempts to hush it up for the sake of the breed’s reputation>.

Easter on the Isle of Wight. The Brabyns bitch at 6 months was hard to assess. Lovely bone, shoulders, neck and brisket, head may end up too fine it is so beautiful now. She was tending to roach, hindquarters weaker than that lovely forehand, although unfair to criticise her after her ops and accident. < she had a problem with an enlarged salivary gland,  which was removed, but there was worse to come> Lovely litter of Annagh infants, especially Atalandi, such good bone ! I cant begin to visualise how they might end up. Mostly “Sanctuary” heads, perhaps some straight stifles, cobby even looking litter excepting little Aldera.

Heard all about Meda’s mating to ( Sanctuary) Revog, what a bungle. Can just imagine Miss Harrison fussing and flapping. Interesting conversations about blacks, saw pictures of some hitherto unknown quantities, such as Dingle and Knight of Kerry. Sir Harry’s accident – he was badly bitten on the leg, but he will be used at stud.

Home again and it seemed strange at first to own such tall skinnies after the Marumac family. Soon re- adjusted. Rang Ruth to arrange to see the litter from Fintan mated to Rossan ( not properly in season when first going to be mated to Caio).Hope she has lots of bitch puppies.

Frankie with news of some funny dealings up North. Mrs Bennett ( Lindfreys) sold a puppy for £150 plus two puppies back later, retaining her pedigree until the deal complete. Mrs Jenkins is asking £100 for a puppy with no conditions.< even then, the best breeders of quality both cheaper and more straighforward than the “ others ”> Mrs Bennet was also trying to get a Franshaw dog in other hands to mate a bitch of hers. Frankie angry as the dog is only a pet. She is thrilled about Brannigan’s first puppies. A dealer had told her he could get any number of pups across a range of breeds for £30 each. How disgusting.

Over to Eaglescrag, pouring with rain and we didnt see much of the hounds because of this. Met Lucie the wire daxie, handed over the good photographs of Tansie, and much chatting ensued. Kilpadriac ( Ballykelly, Boroughbury) was black with a high set curly tail. Once again struck by Ruth’s extreme tactfulness, which managed to speak volumes. Discussed possibilities, I would not want a Caio descendant and would like to have good bone and hindquarters. Dorcas ( Camlet ) might be a possibility, or Shona <pedigree name not remembered> An interesting point is that Fintan invariably passes his good temperament on to his children.

Saw the young Eaglescrags, was struck by Maeve ( Morvagh). Kestrel hyper angulated, plain head and throaty. Goldie is going to New Zealand, Nimrod hard to fault seriously but seems to be going through a bad patch.

Was told an interesting theory about Tansie’s fear of strangers. She suddenly became this way after meeting a man who worked in a slaughterhouse – Ruth thought her “ limited intellect” wasn’t able to handle it. Poor Tansy, she is so outstanding otherwise. < she won two ccs despite backing away from most men judges and sinking to the floor on occasion. Not the last Eaglescrag to do this, unfortunately. Prior to Tansy and the subsequent generation the kennel had really strong characters who showed themselves well >

Heard about the time Eaglescrag Song refused to have anything to do with the Sulhamstead studs and came home to be mated to a maiden dog at home, producing 13. Alice (Nendrum) had a curly tail. Ch Corrie “ fine” as was Ch Carol < I remember this as meaning finely built > . Ch Clindhu 47 lbs weight at 12 weeks of age. Kelt and Kyle, 12 oz at birth < these were both gigantic, tall hounds when full grown, and puppies were more usually over 1 -1/2 lbs at birth >.

Club show 19th April 1975. Had my first look at Hamish ( Ch, Outhwaite) children and am determined to take Rosie to him. Both have their sire’s head, substance and bone, the bitch is better at the moment. < I suspect these might have been from his Delkerry litter, Blizzard, later Ch, was exceptional > Mr Taylor had two Druidh puppies out of Ann, not too impressive. Also in the puppy classes were five from Edeyrn. The nicest was small and short coupled however had that “ every piece fits” look. Frankie had her Brannigan pair on show, the dog is promising. Lovely bone, brisket and well shaped quarters for such a youngster. His sister is similar, both are an improvement on their parents. Small to my eyes but nicely made. <  this must have been Nord. Ch Doulagh and Dinagh as babies >

Susan Hudson’s Ch Fintan pup missed his class, rich red brindle, he has everything going for him. Has his mother’s head unfortunately but his sire’s temperament should more than make up for this <later USA Ch Brabyns Gog Ma Gog, wish i had used him >. Sanctuary showing two hairy faced puppies, twins, lacking substance and moving beautifully. Nicest puppy yet from John Briggs < I think this bitch grew up to be a CC winner, the Sanctuary pair probably Margaret Maud and her brother Mighty Monarch >.

Thinking over the sires of stock in the rings i am begining to reach some conclusions. Ch Sanctuary Revog, considering the opportunities he has had, has produced very little to commend him. Many of the bitches bred to him have never been shown which may account for this. Fintan seems to have passed on temperament but never his own head type < he had a lovely head >. Ch Chieftain puppies have a great number of roach toplined ones amongst them. These can settle with age, its a bit early to reach conclusions. Donaghadee ( Later Ch, Brabyns) I think is better than his sire was as a youngster. Chieftain did improve over time, have to hope his son does not go off. Strong good headed youngster, roaching. Also heard that beautiful Tullamore had 10 puppies to Hamish, including two blacks. Most faded.

In the judging Miss Ellis <Mary Jane Ellis, later to be Mrs Nagle’s partner in the Sulhamstead affix> does not like the tall skinnes at all. Mr Crane ( Seplecur) had his best day yet, carrying all before him. He has some typy bitches, lacking in substance perhaps, unfaultable outlines and free moving.

The most distressing factor of the day was the behaviour of Mary’s < Brabyns> Coleraine. She was very possessive and protective against other dogs at seven months. She must be going through a temperamental “growing” stage. Also attracting many unfavourable comments. She was also very lame and roaching her topline most of the time.

Frankie rang with news of Birmingham show. Only two turned up in open dog. Erindale Avenger won over Sulhamstead Motto ! Hamish only took a third in limit. No Brabyns or Eaglescrags present. Fredina now a champion I see ( Sulhamstead).

Ulf Rosfjord’s sister has been staying with Frankie recently. She has bought several hounds on her brothers behalf. 10 month old Brannigan x Kate Annacarty youngster, two bitch puppies by Brannigan from someone in Preston, and a dog from Mrs Cresswell’s Workman/ Gaiety litter. ( Cilwych). Frankie has been boarding the latter until they depart for Norway and is concerned about it. Still has hind dewclaws and moves as if it is crippled behind. Rosford has also bought Ch Mulligan from Mr Jones for what was then a record price for the breed. The dog died two months later of torsion and was not shown or bred from in Norway. Pictures of Av Krooden Holly and Int Ch Sanctuary Boroughbury Bawnshee seen, the latter was thought to be a super bitch.

Mary phoned. Coleraine has been X rayed and there is something wrong with her stifle. She is still lame. It is a worry and very upsetting. Meda has produced one small bitch puppy. This is already booked to go to the States. Only one Annagh puppy left, this puppy will go to a new owner who has Buckhurst Gandalf ( Fintan x Ophelia). < this sounds very like John and Shirley Sharpe, of Telgar >

Delkerry Black Blizzard has a black brother at home – Mary is keeping her eye on him for the future. Sally ( Atalandi) weighed 50 lbs at 12 weeks, may have Eaglescrag throatiness and big ears.

Leeds. Frankie returned my Year book. Brannigan has had his OCD op and is recovering well. Mrs Innes ( Petasmeade) told me all about her Chieftain x Belle litter, most are to be exported. They may retain “ Minnie Mouse”, a puppy who has not grown since she was 6 weeks old. Apparently a tummy bug set her back < Nowadays you would be thinking PSS/ Liver Shunt > . Watched Donaghadee break his lead in the car park and dash away, ran Susan a merry dance before he could be caught. His actions during the day could only be described as panicky. He is the third one i know of from Rosleen to have a less than settled disposition, the other two being Erin and Fionn Mc Connal. Pity, as they are such beautiful types. Gog- Ma- Gog, on the other hand, was a lovely lad , full of himself, superb movement, bit down on the pasterns. Bone might not finish too well but I hope all this promise is fulfilled. Frankie’s dog pup still looking well, isn’t usual to see a male looking better than his sister, Dinagh has hackney front action and isn’t yet steady in temperament. Several bitches were nervous, including a beauty owned by June Moody. Frankie has mated Brodie to Dalhams Marcus.

Miranda ( Brace)  told me that Mary has a puppy with distemper and hadn’t got the details but did we know more? We didn’t.

Saw Black Blizzard again, looking a little longer in back but still a beauty. Rosie was in the next class, I wasn’t surprised to win as she seemed to be going very well and Mr Hyett decidedly pleased with her. Very pleased to win my first championship show red card. Met Mrs Jenkins ringside. Poor Tansy, so unhappy. Ruth could not get over Rosie’s improvement from show to show, needless to say I can’t see it ! Kath ( Mitchell) won post grad, limit with Shamrock, well deserved. Tansie outmoved ( Ch Royden) Topaze to win open. I then took Rosie into the challenge, standing in a corner well away from Tansie and Topaze who were CC and reserve in my eyes. I was asked to bring her into the line and move her again, by this time I was hoping for the res CC. Imagine how I felt when Mr Hyett handed the CC to me, i nearly fainted. I muddled through the challenge, which Hamish ( now Ch) just had to win. Out to a big celebration from my friends, and it seemed the wolfhound world flocked to Rosie’s bench.

Mr Hyett told me he thought Rosie was lovely, as Caio’s height quality and presence with Tessa’s substance, I don’t know where he saw that but all very flattering. On cloud nine. Went to stay overnight with the Mitchells who told me Mr Hollis had been furious and had been stomping up and down the benches saying it was a fix and he would see I never won another. Rather failed if the attempt was to put me off, Rosie will now be entered for every show this summer. < Roy Hollis was like that when beaten. Considering I would have been 20 at the time, how unsporting. Rosie did make up, a champion from a first litter in those days was rather unusual >.

Sent a packet of pedigrees off to Betty ( Murphy). Patrick rang Mary to find out about this distemper. It was Abyla and he is dead now. This was so tragic. Felt loathsome relating previous days results which naturally she asked for. Hope young Sally will be good enough to make up for all these disappointments.

Next weekend York open show, took the caravan and stayed over with John Briggs. Stayed up to 2 am learning previously unsuspected facts about poor Ballykelly and Brabyns temperaments. John had enjoyed his judging stint at Buckingham canine the day before, his Outhwaite best puppy was BPIS. Asked John if Coleraine’s lameness had improved. He said it hadn’t, thought she was a daughter of Slainte not his niece. Ballykelly sharpness coming through again, he thought.

York show a nice one, lovely setting on the racecourse. Joined in the wolfhound party besides the railings. Kath had three, Mrs Rushton 3, Mrs Bennet 3, Mr Taylor could not show Druidh, who had slipped a disc. His son Sheamus not too good – plain in head, on the small side and not too good in stifles. His sister is much better, a little nervous. Mrs Rushton’s Ballad extremely small. Met Mrs Mason, who has a pup with a blue eye, another older pet by Chieftain, amd a rescue bred on a Welsh puppy farm. < Jenny Mason, a lovely woman who took out the “ Eriskroy” affix > Heard that ( Sulhamstead) Woodside Finn had sired puppies with OCD and exactly how “ Florrie” had acquired ( Ch Eaglescrag) Morna. < From memory, Mrs Nagle swooped down from her Daimler and took this gorgeous bitch as a stud fee puppy, perfectly ok, but in future breeders laughed about hiding their best puppy if Mrs Nagle decided to visit as she would always spot the best one >.

Judging – Kath’s Shamrock was BOB, John’s junior bitch Matihu won her class. Rosie fourth out of five in post grad. Learned the expression “ face man” about the judge. If he knew the face, you got a place! Took Rosie into maiden variety class, with many wolfhounds,  and beat 20 dogs to win it. I felt a lot better after that.

Frankie rang with Malvern news. Sanctuary sired stock won well, Motto won his third CC. Her Allegra is in whelp to Ch Toby, Brodie missed to Marcus. Mrs Humphreys bitch had 10 to Toby, she said all but four had died.

July 1975, Windsor show. Big entry for Mrs Jenkins. John Briggs had been over to the IOW to see Mary’s litter, very impressed with the puppies. His Delilah < a Thornwick, sister of Rossan > is to be bred to Caio. Rathdaws Matihu was best puppy at the Dublin show, she is a lovely pup and deserved it. John said that Ballykelly Cronan ( of Brabyns)  was destroyed aged five as even Susan ( Hudson) couldn’t trust him enough to go into his kennel.

Peta Innes was showing people a cutting from a daily paper – Susan shot at a plane which was scaring her hounds and forced it to land ! < wow, nowadays she’d be locked up for ten years for that >

Junior dog, many appalling movers, tail set and carriage all over the place. Two otherwise nice Fintan pups spoiled by this. In the young hounds I was most impressed by Camlet Falstaff and Sulhamstead Monarch. ( Sanctuary) Mighty Monarch is just like his dam, too finely built.

I realised from the start that Mrs Jenkins was going for the best shoulder placement and best tail sets. Motto was moving surprisingly badly. Nice young hound over from Ireland ( Cu Ulaidh Uladh, later Ch). Erindale Avenger’s head came as an unpleasant surprise. Good mover. Minstrel CC, Hamish reserve.

Some really nice young bitches in junior, won by Seplecur Meghan ( later ch) from Black Blizzard ( later ch) and Matihu. Rosie took an instant dislike to someone at ringside, have never seen her behave like that before < and she never did again>. I was very pleased to be pulled out. Wondered about Meghan, she has such beautiful conformation but is small, fine boned and needs substance. One who tries hard to put her head to the ground when moving. ( Marumac) Atalanta ( of Haeremai)  looked extremely well. Erindale Bernice won the CC over Nina ( Ch Buckhurst Winifred) who was missing Anne’s expert presentation and handling. Tullamore ( Brabyns) second in limit still saggy following her last litter and shown in full season, still apprehensive. Fredina ( later Ch, Sulhamstead) didn’t attract me, short on the leg and rather heavy set. Donaghadee won the junior cup, Hamish the typical head cup.

Later in the afternoon we met two Norwegian ladies who were looking for a dog puppy. They were impressed by Rosie so I told them about Mary’s dog pup by Caio. They had already visited the Royden kennel to see the Chieftain x Topaze bitch puppy they had for sale. Apparently the hounds cowered back into their kennel when the owner came into sight. I am not surprised. The Norwegian ladies found it better to buy a puppy in GB for £100 as Ulf Rosfjord was charging £300. They told me he has his dogs stuffed and sent to museums when they died and is not liked as he thinks his dogs are all wonderful and everyone else has rubbish. Will sell off his dogs at any age if they don’t do enough for him. There is a Brabyns hound in Norway which put them off going to see Miss Hudson, a coarse headed no quality one. Wenche owns just three wolfhounds, all international champions. Judging by the photographs they are very lovely but rather finely built.

Rang Mary to see if the dog was still available, and suitable for export. He sounds nice and should do ok. Sally progressing well but Mary thinks she may have a ring tail. With Caio as sire, not surprising ! < this dog became Mary’s first champion over in Norway and a son and daughter were re- imported by her a few years later >.

Coleraine’s lameness turns out to be Hip Dysplasia and she will be put to sleep soon. Very sad end to all her troubles. Being wise after the event, this was something to suspect when we first saw her. John Briggs has convinced Mary that Coleraine’s temperament problem was at least partly inherited.

Mary rang, pup is going to Norway if photos are approved. One of the other puppies has gone undershot. Heard about her parents trip to the USA, Mary has both the De Quoy books, autographed, and is joining the IWCA. She hopes to go there next year and to stay with the General to visit some east coast shows. I am very glad for her, and more than a little envious.

Hound Show 1975. Very hot day. Rosie and Bron were not satisfied with their benches, too small! The judging I just couldn’t follow at all. In junior dog was the most superb youngster I have ever seen, he really has everything. Sadly he was also extremely nervous < this was Ch Erindale Triston. Interesting I didn’t mention the woolly coat, clearly not as important to me as the head, bone, body, construction, shape, soundness…. he was a good dog >. Donaghadee was thrown out with the rubbish, also Seplecur Hennessey and curly tailed Buckhurst Gandalf was second to ( Franshaw) Doulagh with Tristam third.

Quality up to open was then very low, Toby came in to win his third CC over Hamish.For once Toby was really trying and he looked very well.

Junior B, small class. I liked Mrs Baird’s Athene very much she has lovely quality < Later top winner Ch Outhwaite Athene >. Dinagh won second despite me handling her until Frankie got back. Patrick then took Bron in to novice and won a third ! Lord only knows what the judge was looking for. Over to the big ring where the girls and I won AV Brace and £10. I think the judge there was so bored by the dozens of daxies he went for a complete change. Rushed back to put Rosie into Mid Limit, by then were were both very hot and tired. There were only three new hounds to be judged but Miss Hartley <very famous for her Deerhounds > spent ages looking at them. Poor Rosie was quite wilted, however we won in the end. Finally open B, again the long stare technique, Rosie was finding her second wind and we came second to Kelt, who was looking better than I had ever seen her. Won res CC finally, the dear lady saying the only thing she didn’t like about Rosie was her ring tail. Frankly I was more impressed by winning a reserve in novice under Ruth.

According to Frankie Mrs Humphreys sold one of her pups for £100, it was found to have a malformed hip within 24 hours of purchase. It took the buyer much time and trouble to obtain a refund even though the puppy was put down ( in parenthesis “ in fact was HD”). Frankie found a dog in boarding kennels where someone had “forgotten” to collect her. By Caio ex Dorcas ( Camlet D. of Eaglescrag) nice head with dark eyes but very tall, thin and Deerhoundy, she hopes to obtain papers and to keep her.

Went to the bar with Sue Jenkins, who had been winning again with her pack < Sue had Ibizan hounds including the gorgeous Ivicen Cleopatra, a top winner in the days before CCs >. Mrs Hollis was stomping about in outrage that Topaze hadn’t been placed. Another long face was that of Mrs Saunders, who was hoping for Bernice,s third CC.

August. Visited Frankie to see her puppies: Toby x Allegro, Brannigan x Kate Annacarty. The second litter are too young to judge seriously. The Toby litter wasn’t of such high quality as i had hoped, many carried their tails very high. I rather fancied one cream brindle, which Frankie is keeping. We saw all the adults, Brannigan is about the nicest, many bitches just ordinary but they seem to be producing good stock. Talked well into the night about all things houndy.

Welsh KC. Missed seeing most of the classes through sitting with the hounds < back then a benched show meant just that and sitting out with your hounds around you ringside not as common as now>. Talked to Ruth about her dogs, she is having problems with gangly Kestrel who seemed rather on edge. Saw Coleraine’s litter brother, a very Chieftain- esque looking pup. The judging was hopeless – Mrs Nagle or Ruth went up regardless, until open bitch where Topaze won the class and CC. The ringsiders thought it was fixed. Rosie struggled into fourth in limit but Bron was third in open, which shows how much the chap really knows. The Bairds and Mr Mc Coy ( Cu Ulaidh) arrived too late to be judged. Had an interesting conversation with Mr Baird about Hamish, crooked or incapable allrounders, the Appleton/ Richmond affair and the old boys judging roundabout. Quite an eye-opening session.

Back to the benches, where we met a nice American couple, chatted to Kyle’s owner < Eaglescrag Kyle was owned by Jean Taylor, Tanat >.He weighs 195 lbs, 10 lbs heavier than Caio. Pocketed my scruples and talked to Mrs Saunders ( Erindale) who talked much scandal. She said virus rhinitis had happened at Seplecur, Revog overworked at stud – 6 bitches in 9 days, for example ! Jason ( of Sunningdale) had “only” sired 200 puppies, he is now 5 1/2. Had refused £8,000 for Tristam < he must have earned her double that in stud fees alone>. Blames his nervousness on Mary’s Coleraine leaping out at him at High Wickham. Thinks Ruth “ straightens” the curly tails on her hounds. Seems very friendly with a number of judges. Thinks Jason ( of Sunningdale) would have been a champion had he kept his tail. Most of her puppies now go to the continent. She told me puppy prices – Buckhurst £170. Sanctuary £150, Clanoc £175, Brabyns £200 and up. Wow ! Invited the Americans to the caravan for a coffee. All the Brabyns hounds which they saw in the States were nervous. Most stock on the west coast X rayed for HD, some breeders cull their litters down to 3 or 4. Puppy prices range up to $600. Ballykelly has a reputation for selling whole litters to dealers. Promised to meet again at the Edinborough show, when they will have visited Sulhamstead. Was told that Monarch is a monorchid – yet another by ( S. Woodside) Finn.

Off to Scotland with caravan and hounds. Small entry, soon decided that ( Joe) Braddon is yet another to join the blacklist – so uncouth. Very low quality in general. Saw Black Rod for the first time, big boned lout, uncontrolled and weak behind. Another nasty shock was a Sanctuary youngster from the Finn x Maud litter. Cost £150 and just a poor pet. Got to know Jenny Mason much better ( Eriskroy). Decided to take advantage of her kind offer and to stop off at their new home on our return.

Our usual houndy time with the Masons, enjoyed every minute. Jenny is making the usual mistake of cluttering herself up with second raters, and then doesn’t have the time to do justice to the good pup. Managed to suggest Brannigan instead of ( Brabyns) Cumall again, should work out OK. Bronnie spent her time pondering how to get into the highland cattle or the ducks, luckily not succeeding.

On to Leicester show, a scorching day. Poor Rosie hated the whole thing, we managed to sneak her out early to the caravan. Elsie James ( Boroughbury) drew a fantastic entry considering the few classes. Donaghadee extremely nervous. Didnt really think ( Sanctuary) Mona won the cc on merit, her front  was unsound.She was much more animated than the others though. Spent most of the day talking to Ruth and John. Hazel Gibson brought the black male ( Delkerry Black Buzzard), he caused much interest and is very promising.

Birmingham show – what a fiasco ! No one had heard of Collins but had travelled hopefully just in case. Kath and Tony ( Mitchell) there for the first show in ages, also Frankie. Judging was very odd. Asked the judge politely what he thought about Rosie, he said he would never place a dog with a ring tail. 3 other CC and res CC winners were out for this very reason. Bronnie had a second, undeservedly. Another for my blacklist, at this rate I wont be doing any showing next year.

Darlington show, stayed with the Briggs. Discussed the shocking Birmingham critique. Concensus was the old fool was trying to make an impression and failed utterly. Heard so much I cant attempt to write it all down < damnation!! >.  Saw films of puppies, wondered how many Delilah would have, talked far into the night.

Told Ruth I wanted to mate Rosie and what did she think. We ran through most of the dogs in the Uk coming up with Hamish or Minstrel – Hamish it will be. Both Morvagh and her brother in the states have OCD.

Mrs Nagle actually condescended to talk to us – amazing ! Ruth has only just heard about Coleraine ( not from us). Was surprised Mary hadn’t told her. Heard several more unsavoury stories about Susan Hudson during the last few weeks. Not so long ago she was selling blues fully registered – one ended up on a puppy farm.

Went to Fennagh’s home for tea with dozens of other people. Swopped info with Jenny ( Mason). Followed John and the Bairds back to York, where I had opportunity to examine Hamish from every angle. Don’t think Am-Cu is a patch on him. Athene a superb young bitch. The Hollis’ had tried to get onto the club judging list and both failed. Late night again going through our LKA and Crufts 72- 73 photographs.

LKA, Club show so early this year. All the familiar faces. Nice to see Mary again, long awaited photos of Sally. Not as good as the glowing descriptions of her ( Sandy, Meda and Coleraine were all potential champions when Mary was describing them). Hope to see her when adult, she does look the best pup in the litter, liked Amos too.

Saw Ann Blake for the first time in ages. She is working for Don Weiden,( Sedeki) who is “ a sweetie” genuinely interested in the breed. Talked to Mrs Hyett, who is scandalised about Coleraine < Susan Hudson had charged a high price for this puppy and was denying all responsibility for its inherited H.D. I didnt know at the time of the diary, but did later, that there were other HDs by this dog >. She told me that many Sulhamsteads have ( or had) entropion and Mrs Nagle does not consider it to be a fault. Patrick naughtily asked Susan if he could use Gog Ma Gog on Bronica < remember we had made no secret she had entropion> and the answer was yes – of course !

Richmond, just Bronnie entered because of the “ judge boycott” * In the event Appleton made a good job of the judging. Very struck by Wellandscroft Dapple, who has matured so well and is so sound. Horrid shock – the Dunn’s puppies by Hamish ( Panoramania)  have horrid curly tails. Saw Mary and her mother, she has bought a copy of the Phyllis Gardiner book from Mr Hubbard. Arranged with Helen Baird to use Hamish, fee £50 and the lad is choosy about his bitches. Weighing the pros and cons I don’t think there is much alternative but to go to him. Must see how Am Cu shapes up.

< * Exhibitors were asked to boycott Richmond as Mr Appleton had recently been the subject of an expose about breeding and selling Beagles to vivisection whilst keeping the best to show. How at the time I reckoned entering one very tall underangulated hound equated to a boycott I cannot now imagine. Typically, most exhibitors showed as they all felt the entry might be reduced and they might have a better chance. >

Rang Ruth Jenkins to tell her about Richmond, found out that Clodagh has been mated to Kestrel. Arranged to book one if good enough litter.

Jan 21st, pups born, 4 bitches! Chap from Norway will be looking at them the weekend before Crufts, arranged to go down about then to see.

Stafford Open show, mrs Taylor had entered Kyle and told me all about last Crufts, when she turned down many foreign offers for him also studs from such dubious kennels as the Colleys and Bennets. Apparently Mrs Saunders wanted to use him on Ch Bernice but used Avenger instead. What a let down.

Went to Eaglescrag, booked a puppy. Lovely litter, bitches 16 – 16 1/2 lbs at just under six weeks. Males very impressive too. Eventually picked one of the darker brindles, huge bone, shows signs of developing good brisket and shoulders. I made my mind up when something caught her eye and she trotted across the run, she moved so well I decided to pick her. Ruth also thought that “ Lark” would be the one she would keep if she hadn’t wanted a dog from this litter < in the event she kept the better puppy Linnet, also Liam , and Lysander, later Ch, went to be a foundation sire at Solstrand. I only wanted to own bitches until around 1978, when my first male moved in >.

With the exception of Morvagh, Clodagh’s previous litter to Chieftain disappointing. Ruth attributes this to the poor hounds behind the sire. Paddy Boy ( Boroughbury PB of Ballykelly) nervous, Ballykelly Patsy Fagin too long and low with tail set on end of back. Chant and Brenda taller but similar. Also all the short coupled dogs in the Brave Knight to Corrie litter had the “ Kerry flick”

< racking my brains now to try to remember if this was one leg going off to the side too wide when moving, i seem to remember it was  >

Was shown “ Tempest” and given the opportunity to buy her which for various reasons we could not. < just as well, I later spoke to the lady who bought her, she developed OCD> Saw Bisto and Derry, lovely pups. All the adults are well. Kes ( trel) moves fantastically well left to his own devices but is so clumsy. Ruth wondered if she has confused him by swopping sides during his lead training.

Crufts with Rosie and Bron for the first time. Betty was over with Jolly, mated to a Chieftain x Colleen son recently, and piles of her new book, one of which is mine. Number nine, autographed and with an acknowledgement, so kind.

Kath very sad. Chip ( of Kavanagh Rock) and Marilyn died of heart attacks on the same day. Malade spayed following pyometra, Honey a heart attack but is still with them. Valentino disgraced himself and will not be shown again – he lunges at other wolfhound males unfortunately.

Mary there with her new fiance, Sally apparently 34 1/2 at shoulder at 12 months. Frankie has two litters, puppies also at Solstrand. Jenny’s bitch missed to Brannigan but they will go back. Litters all over the place otherwise. Absent, the Holiis, the Hyetts and Sanctuary.

Shock to see Am Cu win CC over Mogul, with a handsome Toby 1st and Hamish 2nd in open dog. Kestrel was unsettled, showed his lovely front but appeared to be single tracking behind. Tristam nice, Brannigan won post grad. Athene outstandingly good but  Matihu won over her. ( Sulhamstead) Monitor looking more together, still rolling across the back tho. Master has had 1/2 tail amputated and his stifles are shocking. Mrs Jupp has mated one of her tiny brindles to half brother Mono , heaven knows what she will get.

20/ 3/ 76 Eaglescrag again to collect Lark. Such a skinny, long puppy compared to the massive and broad males, but all quality and no nerves. Learned that Carna of Nendrum had a very ugly, big eared, light eyed, head. Also suspicion that Kingsholme Sunshine was undershot. Looked at photos for the year book, four Eaglescrag champions no less, and was given one of Clodagh. Going home the puppy behaved like a seasoned traveller.

Manchester, and what a poor turn out. The only CC winners present were Kyle and Fennagh and both won seconds. I was sorry not to have been showing Rosie. Fantasy ( Baldeagle) has put some coat on but no body. Firenza fat, Triston ( Erindale) has bursar on elbow and just looked commonplace. Zena Andrews ( Drakesleat) showing two puppies with very wonky pasterns. John Briggs told me this was a hereditary condition to do with the growth of the long bones of the forelegs ( failure in calcium deposits). He also thought she had only won with them because she stewards for the judge. < whatever had poor Zena, a young woman at the time, done to offend John – he’s being rather critical here and I cannot make any vetinerary sense ouf of what he was saying about pasterns > Neither Matihu ( looking small and sad) or Nola ( looking sad) won anything for him. Kath ( Mitchell) still having dog troubles. Malade has had her tail amputated completely. Shamrocks tail tip a mess, Valentino retired due to unreliable temperament.

Susan Hudson has repeated the mating which produced Coleraine, which is intolerable. Lindfreys asking £250 for a puppy telling prospective buyers that 14 week old puppies are in fact ten weeks old so they think they are getting bigger puppies. 16 puppies in ( Petasmeade) Oberon’s litter to Cushla. Pedigree consultation with Miss Thomas, who doesn’t know who to take where. Drove back with Kyle’s owner, who is very nice. Incidentally Brannigan is suffering from a thyroid deficiency. Frankie also told me that a pet litter by Toby has priced puppies at  £140 < I had recently paid one of the top two kennels in the UK £120 for a three month old bitch puppy >

Club Open show. Weather was just perfect for an outdoor event, if anything too hot. Mary and Noel had brought Annagh and Sally, who is much as I had surmised. Beautiful head, strong bone, lovely temperament. Reminded me of Camlet Falstoff in colour but didn’t tell Mary this in case she doesn’t like the dog. Worried me that Mary could not tell that Sally is straightish in shoulder and her stifle lacks length and angulation. Substance turns out to be fat, which spoils her body lines. Thinned down and coated up i am sure she will do a lot of winning.

Jenny Mason brought “ Custard” who has much improved from puppyhood. Kath seemed happier. Frankie has sold Doulagh to a new owner in Sweden who specifically wanted a dog to use on light boned light eyed straigh stifled Brabyns stock which is prevalent over there. Floragh ( later Ch) is very like Dinagh in every way but more substantial for age. New Brabyns pup Patricks Day is lovely behind the head. Am Cu, Monitor and Buzzard have all improved since Crufts. Am Cu has sired litters to Tighe ( Outhwaite) and Calavera Allesandria, virus rhinitis accounting for some of later batch.

Lots of new hounds out, mostly grots. Judging, couldn’t always see what the judge was looking for. Tessa staggeringly second in mid limit behind Annagh, Rosie second in both limit and open to (Ch) Blizzard and ( Ch) Kelt. Won brace and my first club cup.

Birmingham, spectating. Spent some time with the Sharpes, who told me that Kestrel has been put down. I was stunned. Appparently he was found to have a brain tumour when his actions became uncontrolled. I feel that his loss will prove to be a loss to the breed, his quality, houndiness size and angulations don’t come together too often. At home relaxing Kes was superb. I believe four hounds from his only litter will be shown. Dagmar Kenis has Lysander, who is a quality curvy lad with lots of promise.

The new Camlet youngster is also superb, look forward to seeing him as an adult. Their dam died after caesarian, the third pup died from bone cancer at 6 months. < the Camlet “ E” litter. Sadly the beautiful male Esquire did not grow on but remained a wonderful moving curvy hound when mature >

Mrs Nagle confirmed she expects to be off to the States in November. Twenty of her hounds are there already. Frantic breeding plans to fit in a Sulhamstead stud are going ahead at a number of kennels. Elsewhere, Kelt has been mated to Am- Cu, Atalanta ( Marumac) is to go to Toby, one of Miss Thomas’ bitches to Hamish.

Show- wise the National did not give us many exciting new prospects. Royden Eamonn is a bigger, creamier Topaze. Mighty Monarch ( Sanctuary) has come on well, Triston bored, Falstaff on top form ( res CC). Motto moving and showing with presence for a change. Bitches, no Ch’s entered, very weak at the top. Cleveragh Peg was a surprise CC, although there were no really deserving competitors – staggered to see that she went on to BIS. She is a very ordinary bitch, can think of many to surpass her. Our breed male BIS winners all had star quality. < trying to think how many new exhibitors with a young bitch winning its first CC might hope to go on to an all breed championship BIS nowadays, plus what depth of quality must we have had in Wolfhounds in this era to beat such a huge entry of all breeds  >

Leeds, and what a wet, muddy day. Shared bench side anorak with Anne Blake, who has been commissioned to find a stud for Ch (Buckhurst) Winifred. Eventually decided upon Falstaff. Yet again Ruth and Mrs Nagle not entered. No one but Sanctuary had more than two hounds entered. Tristram won an easy CC, temperament retiring and not trying. Not much to catch the eye in dogs. Bitches better, especially the young ones. After a tussle with Massets Morag Rosie won limit CC and BOB. Ringside opinion was that she was looking very nice – Leeds is my lucky show !

Mrs Innes ( Petasmeade) told me about her Oberon to Cushla and Dochar litters. Revog infertility scandalising from a knife – sharpening Mrs Saunders ( Jason’s stud fee £100 !). Sue Jenkins thrilled for us, her Nila BOB too < Ibizan hounds>. Everyone left at 1pm, Jenny and Anne stayed to watch Rosie in the group where she was in the last few. Compliment from Don Weiden about her movement. Went back for a meal with Tony and Kath. They are still having problems with Val, who has now savaged his aunt Ginnie and will be given one last chance before being put down. Doubt if Shamrock will ever have a litter, her seasons are non existent.

York open, Rosie in season so Bron travelled alone. Betty ( Murphy)  judged very sensibly. Lots of absentees though. Blizzard a well deserved BOB, Patricks Day showing signs of nerves. Such a common head, it really is ugly. Spent the day talking to Betty and Susan Hudson. Betty’s Navan ( pet name, Carrokeel) has died of a heart condition aged 15 months. He was a grandson of ( Ballykelly) Reamonn, heart trouble from him too. Lleigus has broken his shoulder. Black puppy in litter in Ireland < the colour still uncommon enough to make news!>. Chieftain x Cailte puppy sent to the Finneys ( Gulliagh), Cailte tragically died whelping, two puppies survived her. This puppy a replacement for a Red Rory x Melina son who had a heart attack while still a puppy. Odd goings on at Ballykelly – apparently Miss Seale has kept a splash marked bitch. Ch Molly Mulligan had entropion. Kilpadriac was a non stop barker and had a light eyed coarse head. Sidhe has puppies to Gog Ma Gog and there are also two Donaghadee litters.

Lurid story about Sanctuary. According to Miss Hudson every bedroom has toydogs in small boxes with fleas leaping in the kitchen. Heard Colin of Nendrum was a poor stud. Justice wont touch a bitch if the owners are looking. Miss Hudson said about Mary – thinks she is a “ know it all” and says she “ ruined” Coleraine. No mention of the H.D. of course.

Phone call from Frankie, results of Three Counties plus news of a Hamish litter of eleven. Good! Miss Hudson has had Red Rory put down, uncontrollable mange. Also sold an 8 month puppy saying it was 4 months. Mangy, lice and fleas were thrown in. When the new owner found out and complained they were told they could take her back if they liked, otherwise nothing doing.

24/6/76 Rosie mated to Hamish. A very hot day for us all,both the dogs ended up on the ground, still tied. Hamish has sired a number of puppies with OCD. More shocks – one of the Feccna x Ch Uladh litter was put down as a puppy, HD. Am Cu and Athene’s littermate. Virus rhinitis reported to be widespread. < I must have been a real optimist in those days to go ahead with this mating, however I had no cases of OCD in the G litter which resulted, and a lovely daughter in Gaeltara >

Frankie rang, she has had a visit from the Van Griekens, Holland. Floragh won a second CC at Darlington under appalling conditions, also Am Cu BOB as I was told he would be at Manchester! Very few hounds turned up, no champions, nothing in open bitch. Mary rang to say Annagh had missed to Buzzard and there are doubts about his fertility. Very sad if he is sterile as he is a very nice dog.  <  he never did sire any puppies > .

The next set of diary entries are already on the Blog Pages.

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